Billionaire political donor and activist Tom Steyer has accused Fox News of breaching its contract to air ads on the network calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, according to a letter sent to the network by Steyer’s legal team.
Brad Deutsch, a lawyer for the California philanthropist and prominent Democratic booster, called Fox News’ decision to pull the 60-second TV spot that began airing in October “baseless and unethical” in a memo addressed to Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy on Nov. 3.
According to Christian News Alert, Fox News announced that “Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money,” canceling the Trump impeachment ad outright, according to one Twitter post.
Fox News confirms: “Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money” https://t.co/A3324fvMSz
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 6, 2017
Tom Steyer, a Democrat supporter and billionaire hedge fund operator, launched a $10 million television ad calling for the impeachment of President Trump and asking viewers to sign a petition urging him to do so. According to his lawyer, Brad Deutsch, more than 1.5 million people have already signed the petition.
Among other things, Mr. Steyer said in the ad that President Trump is “mentally unstable” as well as “armed with nuclear weapons.” He also criticized Mr. Trump for firing FBI Director James Comey as well as bringing the US to “the brink of nuclear war,” according to The Washington Examiner.
However, Fox News decided to cancel the advertisement, which, according to a Twitter post from CNN’s Brian Stelter, had a strong adverse reaction from their largely Trump supporting viewer base.
“Fox News trying to silence the 1.7 million who have already signed our impeachment petition,” tweeted Mr. Steyer in response, after hearing about the news network’s decision.
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) November 6, 2017
The billionaire also said in an official statement on Friday that “Millions of Americans have raised their voices in opposition to Donald Trump,” adding that if “If Fox News is siding with Trump and trying to silence us, they must be afraid of what we have to say. It shows no respect for democracy.”
The Democrat mega-donor spent over $90 million trying to elect Democrat candidates to stop the President since the 2016 presidential election.
“Wacky & totally unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda from beginning, never wins elections!” Mr. Trump tweeted about the billionaire.
Wacky & totally unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda from beginning, never wins elections!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2017
Deutsch took note of the President’s tweet in a letter to Fox News where he accused the network of violating his client’s First Amendment rights as well as breaching their contract. “It is no coincidence that the Cancellation of the Advertisement, in the second week of its run, came on the heels of a tweet from President Trump, criticizing the spot and Mr. Steyer personally.”
He further called this move a “profound failure of journalistic integrity,” as well as a suppression of free speech likely the cause of political pressure from the Trump administration, according to Politico.
Although a critical supporter of the Democrat Party, Mr. Steyer’s tactics are causing a divide within the organization, as many top Democrats feel that creating further drama and attacking the President will not help them in the long term.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has said that she prefers the party to move away from calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment.
When asked what she thought about Tom Steyer’s ad on MSNBC, she said,
“That’s a great ad,” before switching the topic. Ms. Pelosi has previously expressed that fostering an image as the “no drama” party was key to winning back the White House in the coming elections.
When asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday whether or not they would fight to impeach the President, she responded by saying “It’s not some place that I think we should go.”
Well, it’s pretty clear and it’s no surprise at all why Fox News chose to withdrew this advertisement from their network. It’s because you and most Trump-supporting Americans wouldn’t agree with its message, but will agree that Fox News’ choice is good.